State regulators are cracking down on insurance companies that are pushing banks, brokerages, and agents to sell a newfangled and increasingly popular fixed annuity.

The Illinois Department of Insurance toughened its product approval requirements two weeks ago for so-called index annuities, which link investment performance to the Standard & Poor's 500. Oklahoma did the same in October, and North Dakota forbade companies to cross its borders with that product nearly a year ago.

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